Magic

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PRE – RESTORATION

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THE RESTORATION

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JOB DONE

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MAGIC

Recently I was contacted by Phil Shaw who has completed an amazing restoration on his Healey speed boat – Magic. Like many I’m sure, I was not aware that the founder of the Austin Healy sports car marque – Donald Healey (British racing car driver and engineering guru), back in 1956 had also founded a subsidiary company – Healey Marine. The company produced approximately 1750 craft, with Phil’s 1956, 14’6″ boat, a Healey Ski-master, being the first model built.
When Phil acquired the boat she was crying out for a restoration and as you can see in the photos above, that she received 🙂
 
These days Magic is pushed along by a 50hp outboard that sees her with a top speed of 30 knots, and that woodys is very fast for a sub 15’ mahogany run-about.
 
My biggest challenge with this story was deciding which photos made the cut – Phil photo documented every step of the project, and has a wonderful photo gallery of the restoration.
 
I will let the photos tell the story. Below is a an article in the April 2002 issue of the Healey Marque Magazine.

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Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy

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Woody Lake Taupo Boat Tour + Woody Event Details

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WOODY LAKE TAUPO BOAT TOUR + WOODY EVENT DETAILS
One of WW’s most local supporters is Bay of Islands woody, Dean Wright – today Dean takes us on a recent mooch around Lake Taupo’s shoreline, click photos to enlarge –  Enjoy 🙂
WAIROA RIVER – WOODY OVERNIGHT CRUISE
Back in November 2019 we had an amazing woody weekend at the Clevedon Cruising Club. At the time everyone expressed a desire to repeat the trip up the Wairoa River asap, then CV-19 popped up, so we pulled the hand-brake.
Well folks the cruise is back on and for now there are two things to do:
1. Circle August 8-9 in the diary
The CCC is a brilliant venue, with dock-side berthing, undercover BBQ / dining facilities and a great group of members that make the trip so special.
And its dog friendly ! – so fido gets to come along.
Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy

Classic Wooden Boat Riverhead Cruise

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Classic Wooden Boat Riverhead Cruise

Yesterday’s creek (river) cruise to the Riverhead Tavern was another successful gig on the Woodys Classics Weekend calendar. 14 boats made the trip up the creek and with no ferries working, we had the wharf to ourselves. Always nice to be greeted at the wharf by the publican and woody boater – Stephen Pepperell. We enjoyed brilliant support and service from the rest of the team at the tavern insured the day went like clockwork and 85+people enjoyed a great catch up, chat and lunch. The sun shone at the right times (most of the day) so a good times was had by all. Wonderful to see the support from the people that made the trip by car.
Details on the next event soon 🙂
MORE PHOTO’S @ link below
My crew for the day Chris Miller has posted some great photos on his weblog, I was concentrating on helming the ship and given CM is a pro photographer I left the camera work to Chris. Enjoy 🙂

Antares

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ANTARES
Recently I received from Bryce Strong an envelope of ‘old’ boating photos – the result of a CV-19 lock-down cull of the family photo collection. Its a flash back of woody boating on and around the Waitemata.
The above photos show the 34’ Antares, built in the 1950’s by Supreme Craft in Auckland. I suspect that at the time, Antares was owned by Bryce’s brother-in-law, Ron Philips.
Antares has appeared on WW several times  and you can see / read more of her past at the link below, be sure to check out the additional links in the story to experience more.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/09/25/antares-2/

Who Can Help ID This Yacht
The vessel below was snapped by Cameron Pollard at the entrance to the Tamaki River – Cameron estimate her length around 55′.
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Input & photo below from John Mellars – owner built, spotted Whangaparapara 15 March 2019.
Not very woody though.
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WCW Riverhead June2020
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An Epic Tale of Whalers, Fishermen,  Farmers & Commercial Launch Masters

Prima Donna built by Lanes 1911 for Herman & Darcey Baldick 001

Primadonna built by Lanes for Ernie & Darcey Baldick 001

Primadonna and One of Bob Swansons boats 001

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An Epic Tale of Whalers, Fishermen,  Farmers & Commercial Launch Masters
 

The story below without doubt is the best to appear on WW, author Pete Beech talks at one stage about writing a book – he needs to. Surely there is a funding channel available – what’s the literary equivalent of ‘NZ On Air’?

The story came about via the recent WW story on the ex whaler chaser – Primmadona and her relocation from the South to Aucklands Waitemata waters. I will let Pete tell you his story, as he told me – its a cracker – enjoy
 
As an aside I spotted Pete’s ‘work’ boat – Tutanekai, mentioned in the story in Queen Charlotte Sound two years ago, I admired her then, sadly I was too busy pushing bacon and eggs down the gullet at the rather swanky, Bay of Many Coves resort, to say hi – my loss, but I’ll be back. Photos of her at the WW link below:
 
Previous WW Primadonna stories:
PART ONE
Kia Ora Alan,
Thanks for making contact, I was sent a link to your site by my sister who lives on her yacht in an Auckland marina. She thought I’d be interested in your story on our old waka, Primadonna.
You and I obviously have a lot in common, 40 yrs ago there were a lot of old Sounds launches coming to the end of their days, my old dad worked for Ernie Lane as a young man then for Jack Morgan and Rodger Carey.
He and his old mates had been Sounds farmers, whalers , fishermen and commercial launch masters, when ever they got together conversation would always revert to “Boats ! “
We lived in a bay down the Sounds, old pa could identify the older boats by the sound of their exhausts, before they rounded the points and came into view. The old guys would tell you who built them, what year, how much they cost, what they were planked out of, some were sister ships (2 keels cut out of the same log) where the logs were sourced from for the planking, what timber they used for the ribs, what make of engine they used, how much it cost, what horse power they developed and how many GPH they burnt and  what revs  they run at.
They took pride in knowing the whole whakapapa of all the old waka, how many hours the engines did until they were worn out and rebuilt or replaced, in those days after 5/ 10 yrs they would replace with bigger more powerful engines, they would also tell you how the engine was taken out of one boat and put into another and so on.
I grew up hearing all these oral histories and like a couple of your writers mentioned the accuracy of some of these stories was lost in the telling, then my old dad passed on and I got to thinking that if someone doesn’t write down these oral histories within 50 years, they will pass from living memory and be lost to time.
So I went around and interviewed a number of the old timers and collected all the photos I could, so pleased I did because those old boys are all gone now and their kids tossed out their photos.
It was funny, they just loved to talk about their boats, often their wives used to ring me up and say “could you come back and talk to dad again, hes driving me mad ! “
For years I have fostered an ambition to compile a book using this material and feel a bit precious about it, however no one has a monopoly over history and it should be shared, who knows the millennials may have no interested in our nautical treasures .
I have been a mechanic, a marine engineer, a fisherman, a commercial launchmaster a boat builder and for the last 30 years have run an eco tour with our old waka the near 90 yr old Tutanekai. I used to think that the day would come when people would regard the old classics like they do vintage cars and would restore them.
However it hasn’t really happened here and sadly many of our old classics have  been sold out of the area many finding their way to Auckland, I will miss seeing the beautiful counter stern of the old Primmadonna on the Sound, she is so much part of our local history.
I’m so pleased to see the resurgence of traditional boats in Auckland and sure a lot of credit should go to you for the sparking peoples interest in the classic wooden boats.
I remember when she was sold to a feller up on the Foxton River, he eventually put her up for sale but no one wanted her, so he rang me up and said “I’ll sell it to you for bugger all, if you don’t I’m going to cut the side out of her with a chainsaw and turn it into a road side stall. 
I contacted Ian Baldick, nephew of the original owner and said that old girl is your family heritage, you should buy her back, he said OK boy , you’re right, I’ll do it on one condition, that you come with me to bring her back home.
So away we went, made the deal, checked out the old Lister, changed the oil and fuel filters and set off for home, when we got down close to the bar there was a big swell and old Ian said theres something wrong, she’s not lifting to the swell, he said pull her up, he went down into the front cabin, lifted up the bunk swabs and found that the whole forward section was full of river boulders, (this had been done because when you run the old lady on full throttle the stern would suck right down until the water was level with the deck and if you were steering from inside the cabin you couldn’t see over the bow).
We tossed all the boulders overboard and charged out over the bar, there were 3 very big waves, she rode up over the first then put her head down and dove under the second and in what seemed like an eternity finally lifted, rose over the third and burst out into the open sea, old Baldy said if we hadn’t thrown those boulders out she would of gone straight to the bottom !!!
He told me that she had been build too fine with not enough buoyancy in the bow, straight stemmed with no flare, he said that one time they we steaming out around Cape Jackson when they went thru the big rip where the Pacific and the Tasman seas meet there are often half a dozen big waves, he said that she responded the same way a stick does when you throw it into the water. He said you had to shut the throttle off and pull her out of gear,   she went down by the head and kept going down until her buoyancy finally made her shoot back out back wards just like a stick !  He said that on this occasion one of their mates was standing on the foredeck, he said that when this occurred he wrapped himself around the mast and held on for grim death, he said that when she popped out they went forward and couldn’t get their mate to let go of the mast, he said he had squeezed it that hard he ‘d squeezed all the sap out of it and they needed a screw driver to prize his finger nails out of the mast !
I also owned the old Fleetwing at one time, but that’s another story.
The old waka in my shed is a true classic launch, is just the bare hull and is in beautiful condition for its age, has been in my shed for 30 years waiting for attention, I’ll never get around to it , I only rescued it because I knew her history and wanted to see her preserved, she had a 5 HP Frisco Standard in her for years, shes only 6 ft beam, they didn’t start building them with 8ft beam until the twin cyl 8 hp Friscos came out in the 1920’s.
The Baldicks said that they flush decked her for gropher fishing and that when they were steaming around Dieffenbach Point in a strong southerly she would roll over that far that your shoulders would be in the water.!
What I could do is send you the story of her builder Ernest Berg who  was a real character, was bankrupted 3 times but kept reinventing himself, a real conman but he built beautiful boats, back at the turn of the century, 3 of them left that I know of.
That’s enough for now, Keep up your good work mate.
PART TWO
Kia Ora Alan,
My pleasure, always interesting to look at a series of photos taken of a wooden boat that shows how their superstructures  were changed to suit their roles and how their engines got bigger and bigger with advances in technology.
My old waka “Tutanekai originally had an 18 hp twin cyl Regal, that was replaced by a 40 hp 4 cyl sterling, then a 60hp, 6 cyl Hercules, a 110 hp  471 GM during the war, currently has a 120 hp GM and have a 6 cyl 340 hp Yanma  in the shed to replace the GM, ( but it refuses to die.)
My apologies, but I don’t know (or don’t remember )  what the original engines were in the Primadonna,  most of the early launches back in the 1920’s had 5 hp single cylinder Frisco standards when they wore out were replaced by 2 cylinder 8 hp Friscos, they were replaced in the 1940’s with car engines then in the 1950s with truck or tractor diesel engines like 4 cyl Fords or GM’s , (lucky ones had Gardners ! )
When Alf Baldick finished whaling he used the Primmadonna as a farm boat and for transport to and from town, there were no roads in the Sounds.
He sold to a guy McManaway who was a gropher fisherman, he did away with the rear wheel house to give him more deck space and fish hold, he built a pilot house over rear of front cabin. He sold to Rex Baldick, Alfs nephew, he was farming in East Bay and spent a lot of time hunting, you would often see her at the Picton wharf with stern deck covered with carcasses of pigs and deer.
Rex sold to Ken MacArther who fished her out of the Wairau Bar, she caught fire on him, he took the 4 cyl Ford out that Rex had put in and replaced with a three cylinder Lister.
That was the end of her commercial fishing era, she had several owners and more changes to her superstructure, they replaced the rear wheelhouse, when I had it she had a coal scuttle that stuck up above the cabin top so you didn’t have to duck , getting in and out of the cabin. Before Ian Baldick bought her back into family ownership he threw the Lister out and put a reconditioned 4 cly Ford back in her, cut the coal scuttle off and replaced with a sliding hatch, put a new S/S shaft in her and did a great job of tidying her up. When he retired he put a line hauler on her for gropher fishing and spent a lot of time out fishing and deer shooting, when he past on she was sold but a couple of owners latter his son in law bought her back again for running the whanau to and fro to their bach.
Sad that she has been sold out of the Sounds, but who knows some day she may find her way home, it has happened before !
Nga Mihi,
Pete.
Woody Classics Weekend #5 Riverhead
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The Evolution of Pleasure Craft Communication

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THE EVOLUTION OF PLEASURE CRAFT COMMUNICATION

Next time you pick up a mobile phone to chat to another boat or log a trip report via the Coastguard APP, spare a thought for the boats of days gone by that had only one option (other than flags) for communications at sea. As a child I was fascinated by all these strange random words Zulu Mike Bravo Lima etc – my father being an ex-army comms man, morse was his thing. On holidays, myself and brothers were ‘made’ to listen to ships at sea and try to record the message, the winner i.e. most accurate, would win a chocolate.

WW follower Ken Ricketts is of an age that he has seen and experienced the evolution of New Zealand maritime radio communications and recently he wrote a comprehensive chronicle on the subject, which you will find below. It is worth a read to either educate or refresh yourself on the huge advances that have been made in the field. The story is peppered with a few tales directly relating some of our woody fleet (scroll over photos to ID the woodys) so hopefully that will keep those of you with a short attention span –  awake 🙂 Enjoy

Maritime radio-telephony in Auckland pleasure craft, had its first & humble beginnings in 1946, at which time, Ken’s father, Ralph Ricketts, entered the fray, with the second ever such installation, in Auckland, (the original first one was on the REHIA owned by Bill & Phyl Ryan at that time — who told RR about it) RR immediately bought, (as ultimately almost everyone did, once they knew about them ), an ex WW II war assets double side band, (DSB),  ZC1 MK II R.T., for  20 pounds, & fitted it to the Rickett’s launch – JULIANA, after which RR had a visit from a Govt radio inspector, who took diagrams of aerial format & layout, made various notes on his file of the installation, checked RR’s ability to use the set, made a test call himself, to “ZLD Auckland Radio,” sited  at Musik Point at that time, on the entrance to the Tamaki Estuary, & made sure RR had a “Restricted Radio Operators License,” which was required in those days, by all radiotelephone operators, on all pleasure craft, – now long since discontinued, & he allocated JULIANA the call sign of ZMYP.

REHIA 1948

JULIANA & AOMA c1953

Originally, there was only one call frequency, & that was 2012Kh, in 1946, used for all purposes, but not too long after that, 2012  was reallocated exclusively for harbour control use, to the Auckland Harbour Board, & pleasure boaties were allocated 2182, the international distress frequency for initial calling to government shore stations, & 2162 for ship to shore working, & 2456 & 2638 for ship to ship gossiping. 

The 2162 working frequency, was later changed to a duplex frequency, with 2162 for listening to ZLD, & them receiving on 2207. 

The frequency of 2045, was allocated around 1950, for use for transmission between privately owned shore stations & boats, such has Port Charles Radio, (the legendary Jim Smith owner/operator ), Gt. Barrier radio , Awaroa Radio etc. 

These shore stations were used extensively, for many years, from around 1950, by many commercial fishing boats, working throughout the Gulf, many of whom, reported in daily their positions, usually around 6 pm. There were also many pleasure craft which used the service, & RR was one of them. He joined the Port Charles association for most of his boating life with legendary Jim Smith the owner/operator. RR or Ken would call Jim every evening at around 6pm & report in our position at that time. 

You paid a small annual fee usually, to join their non profit associations, to cover their running costs & they kept records of your locations, times of calls, assisted in any way they could, with any problems you may have had, etc., & these associations usually operated, for several set times, of about 15 to 30 minutes, each day. Ken thinks some may still exist on the VHF channels, possibly there is one on Gt. Barrier Island.  

Auckland Coastguard was also allocated the frequency of 2128, (from recall), for ship to Coastguard use. 

By the early 1950s ZLD had introduced a radio telegram service to land based recipients who had a telephone number available, as the address & the telegrams would be sent by ZLD to any entity via that phone number ( & later delivered in hard copy via normal post to the address of the phone number), & if a reply was quested, or anticipated, they would telephone it through immediately, whilst the ship waited on standby, & ZLD would call back with the reply ASAP. 

The cost, was fairly expensive for the era, & on a cost per word basis & the costs were charged to the landline phone number. This service stayed in place as far as Ken knows right through in to the VHF era.

Land based parties, could also send radio telegrams to boaties, with the address, via the P & T telegram phone number, which must include the call sign & was as follows; (as a example) Mr. Smith Vessel ZMYP JULIANA C/- ZLD AUCKLAND RADIO. 

ZLD at the end of its 3 or 4 hourly daily weather forecasts & shipping information, would give a list of all telegraphic traffic held for all vessels including of course, & very importantly, their call signs, & most would listen to these broadcasts, as often as possible, & advise friends on other boats, if they were near at the time, that  ZLD had a message for them.

By about 1983 this communication with the outside world was taken a step further, &  ZLD introduced a VHF radio telephone service, which many mature old time boaties may recall, where a ship could call ZLD, on channels 22 & 23, in the  Auckland region, give them a landline number, which they would dial & then patch your call to ZLD through, to enable you to talk direct, to the subscriber, which whilst it was a good service, it had its shortcomings & limitations, shall we say, as any boatie who by chance or otherwise, dialled into ch. 22 or 23 on his boat, would inevitably be privy to what were sometimes surprising, & very private conversations, also necessarily, only one party at a time in the conversation could speak, & the other had to listen, & one had to say “over,” at the end of each segment of conversation, to enable the other party to know when to respond, 

Calls to boaties from landlines could also be booked with ZLD & ZLD would call them back, when they were able to make contact the vessel, the land based party wished to contact.

There was one other form of radio communication which evolved & inevitably found its way in to the boating world for a period in the 1970s/80s & that was  Citizen Band (CB) radio transmitting communication equipment, for short distance communication, unrestricted in it use, & it could be used by any person, at any place for any lawful purpose, but it was restricted, to a very low aerial output power in all sets, which could be bought & licensed extremely cheaply, much more so, than proper marine  purpose built equipment, & this medium became popular for a period, in the  1970/80s, with some  boaties, mostly in the smaller cheaper craft range, where cost was a really important issue for some, but whilst it was cheap, it had many shortcomings, including its very short transmission range, & as there was no structured organisation of any type, either private or govt., monitoring it, one simply in event of distress, had to rely on someone within the range for your set, hearing your call, & helping as best they could, one way or another. So whist it was so very limited in its rescue value, nevertheless it was better than having no communication at all, if in need of help. 

These sets had a good number of preset channels  & operated on the HF 26.500 Mh band in NZ., which was a different frequency range to many other countries, including Australia, which used 27.500Mh), & call signs were allocated to owners on a regional basis, depending on where you lived.

Ken installed one on his 40′ launch TIARRI, when launched in 1979, in order to have maximum possibility of assisting boats, in times of distress or breakdown. TIARRI’S main call sign was ZM3199, which, along with the radio, Ken took from his first boat, FLYING SCUD, which was issued to F.S. in December 1953, when she was built & launched by Roy Lidgard, just after the advent of the letter number era – only 1100 numbers in to the new system.  

TIARRI

FLYING SCUD 1975

There were the very odd exceptions, to the above early days policy, & call signs, mostly around the 1940s era, almost all of which, were for boats, where they were owned by the owners of private islands, in the Hauraki Gulf & Northland, & perhaps the Sounds, where they had a licensed, private, island based set, on their island, & a special boat call sign allocated to their boats, for keeping in touch with their home bases, usually where these boats were their sole means of access, to the outside world, & these sometimes, were of a number letter combination, with just one or two numbers usually, & had just one specific frequency, to operate with.  

All transmitting in DSB & SSB sets was technically very accurately totally controlled, often by a plug in type internal “Chrystal Control unit,” or similar, for each frequency,& fitted to all sets for all transmitting frequencies. 

There were later several lower end of the High Frequency, (HF) band, frequencies added in the 3, 4, & 6, Mh bands, mostly used by off shore boats, out at sea. 

This cumbersome, & red tape process, of registration, continued for a good number of years, right through the initial era of “ Double side Band “ transmission, & in to the upgrading of that era, to “single side band” (SSB) transmission, circa 1970s

After single side band transmissions became compulsory, around the 1970s this required the purchase of a new set, & the only double side band frequency which was still legally usable, was the international distress frequency of 2182 Kh,  & this could only be used for calls to govt shore stations (ZLD for Auck)  or ZLW for Wellington, as examples),  for emergencies only, & craft which did not wish to outlay for a new SSB set, or alternatively still keep a 2182 set after they bought a VHF set after they were introduced, could modify & keep their old set, & were then reallocated a compulsory special “ZMX” based call sign, starting at ZMX2001.

These days ZLD has left Musik Point, & the government’s ZLD & ZLW (& ZLB in the South Island,) which all later came under the umbrella of Telecom, being the replacement that took over from the old P & T., which in turn, has now become a totally new entity, as “Maritime Radio,” & under the umbrella through various subsidiaries, to “Maritime NZ.,” being another different Govt Dept, with the  transfer becoming effective from midnight, & starting on the 1st October 1993 & the operators of which, are now all based in the Old Radio NZ Avalon building, in Avalon, Lower Hutt, Wellington, with transmission facilities, in Wellington & Taupo, plus a network of repeaters, scattered around the country monitoring the whole country, which is now all controlled from this one location.

In the later 1970s early 80s Very High Frequency, (VHF) maritime radio was introduced, which gave many benefits, with all its ongoing ever increasing refinements, & installation of shore based repeaters, on high ground, throughout the country, which  has now ultimately totally replaced the old Medium Frequency DSB & SSB sets, with many advantages to all users, for all local NZ & inshore boating, along with the discontinuation of licensing of individual operators, & inspections by govt inspectors, of all boats so fitted, with RT equipment. 

Also, Radio Spectrum Management, the govt department which these days controls allocates & administers all radio & TV transmissions, call signs & frequencies, has vested in NZ Coastguard, the authority to issue calls signs on its behalf, of a mixed letter number type, such as, (possible examples only), ZMQ 2947, ZMW4526, ZMR 2937, & so on, as a result of the huge demand for these, these days, & the time consuming process it used to be, for R.S.M.

Originally in 1946, this was all under the umbrella of the Post & Telegraph Department to later become Telecom, & remained so for many years, until 1987, when it all started to change & we have ended up, for a good number of years now, with RSM, as the entity in control.

The pleasure craft call sign evolution, & changes to it, are as follows;

As above, all craft up until c1953, were all 4 letters alone.

As they were beginning to run out of call signs, around 1953, the Govt. wrote to all pleasure craft owners, requesting they approve the replacement of their existing all letter call signs with a letter number combination, starting originally, with the first reissued call sign of ZM2001. 

It is important to note that the Govt., could not insist on this by law, & only request it, & if the owners did not consent to the allocation of a new call sign, the original then remained with the boat, & there are a few of boats that still have their original all letter call signs even today. 

Neither Ken’s father nor the owner/builder of GAY DAWN, Bill Waters, who RR bought the boat off in 1956, surrendered their original all letter call signs, for their respective boats, —  (see image above of GAY DAWN taken c1965, showing clearly, a typical DSB aerial set up as used for many of the DSB, SSB, medium frequency sets of that era), —  RR sold JULIANA in 1956 with ZMYP, (which was somewhere along the way, later either abandoned, or replaced, with letter number combo call sign), & now, as referred to below, is reinstated to her for life. RR bought in 1956 & sold in 1970, GAY DAWN, with ZMIV in place, which however, also later along the way, was replaced by persons unknown, with a letter number combo, at least once, note: ZMIV has now been reallocated to the Rickett’s family and used on the vessel ROSEANNE, which is owned by Ken’s daughter.

GAY DAWN C.1965

Such was the ever increasing size of the “snowball,” of pleasure craft sets, that it was not all that long, before the original issue of the ZM2001 to ZM9999 were all allocated, & we then saw the issue of  ZMA2001 to ZMA9999, followed by the final issue to the SSB era, which was ZMY2001 to ZMY9999. 

It is important to note, that all call sign issues right from ZM 4 letter, ZM+, ZMA, ZMY, & ZMX, & all Coastguard issued call signs are approved & provide for use of all VHF sets.    

All letter only call signs, which are all just 4 letters alone, must still be issued by R.S.M. direct, & are mostly reserved for all Govt vessels,(eg., all the Police DEODAR launches were & still are, all allocated ZMIH, during their term of service to the Police), also some very large off shore fishing vessels, & some NZ based pleasure boats, that cruise off shore, or are capable of cruising offshore have these call signs allocated as well. 

Other pleasure craft, that have some classic, historical, or other special significance, are also issued these, at the discretion of RSM.    

Ken has enjoyed a close & good relationship with RSM, for many years, & there are some interesting background stories relating to the issue of some of these special allocations of all letter call signs, which Ken has been associated with, & some of these are as follows. There are a tiny number of pleasure craft that were built prior to about 1953, where the owners did not approve replacing their original call sign, which the dept. would have requested, but could not insist upon in c1953. 

Two examples of this are as follows; 

One with its original 1946 issued call sign is RAKANOA, which still has her original call sign ZMTF as issued when new, & the other, is Owen Foster’s WAIRANGI, also with her original call sign of ZMTM.

RAKANOA c1948

WAIRANGI 2020

A fairly recent approval exception, is the issue of ZMPY, to Peter Loughlin’s Colin Wild built LADY MARGARET, which was first issued to her, in 1941, by the Navy, & is recorded as such on her British Ship registration, (see below), & as a classic craft, with this history of her call sign, Ken assisted Peter, to secure this for her for life, when he bought her.

LADY MARGARET

LADY MARGARET Registration certificate P1 (TOP) jpg

Likewise Francis Uren’s “W1”, was issued with ZMWI in 2014, which is another detective story. W1 was originally brought to NZ by the Royal New Zealand Air force in 1941, as their extremely fast, & prize patrol craft, & given in the circumstances, the logical Air force number of “W1”, which has now been reinstated to her, as her name, by present owner Francis, after a long period of being known as CARROMA.  

W1 c.1942

As she is now W1 again, Ken approached RSM, gave them her history, & they in turn, approached their counterparts in the military, to see if they could uncover her original WWII call sign, but unfortunately all those records have been lost, so as an alternative, RSM offered Francis the call sign ZMWI. – They could not offer ZMW1 as international radio spectrum law, prohibits that type of call sign, worldwide, so she now has ZMWI for life, free of charge.  

W1 2014 - 1

El Capitan is another interesting story, as she now has ZMEC. It goes like this; She was built c1961, by a farmer, in a shed on his farm, to a Chris Craft design, in Ohakea, & he carted her around on a big trailer, & used her at Taupo, & the Sounds, until 1976,  after which time, she sat in a shed on his farm, never to move again, until bought by Tony Mitchell, of Lake Rotoiti, off his estate, post 2000. When Tony bought her, she had a Coden 2+ Mh multi channel, medium frequency, marine RT,  which would have been fitted almost certainly, when she was new, which has now been replaced with a VHF, but for which, there had never been a marine call sign issued, as the original owner, was also a radio ham, with a “ZL#### ham radio licence & call sign, which automatically allowed him to use this call sign for his boat. Ken provided on Tony’s behalf, all relevant info to RSM, & requested, & they approved, ZMEC (El Capitan), which she also has for life.

EL CAPITAN 2012

Ralph Rickett’s JULIANA, now renamed MARJORIE ROSA, now also of Lake Rotoiti, has been reallocated for her life, her original call sign ZMYP, as issued to RR in 1946. Ken told RSM of her history, as the second ever pleasure craft in Auck., to have marine RT, in 1946, & they have approved the reissue to her of her original ZMYP, to Fraser Wilson, her present owner, for her life. 

Marjorie Rosa : Juliana 2019

Marjorie Rosa : Juliana 2018

Story told by Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H.

Aquarius – Restoration Update

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AQUARIUS – RESTORATION UPDATE
I have done two previous WW stories on the 38’ Supreme Craft, 1955 built launch Aquarius. In September 2018 it was an SOS reaching out for someone to save her and bring her back from Waiheke Island where she had been hauled out for approx. 6 years. Then in April 2019 we reported that she was being trucked / ferried back to the mainland. WW links to those stories below.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/09/01/aquarius-sos/

Today I’m rapt to share the above work-in-progress photos ex Dave Brown and John Wright, who are restoring Aquarius. These boys are light on chat, they just get on with the work, which is impressive – we will continue to follow this project with great interest – well done guys 🙂
Photos below – first one is from 2018 and the bottom two are from the island ‘extraction’ in 2019.
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Brin Wilson 1958 Classic Wooden Launch – Mandalay

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Brin Wilson 1958 Classic Wooden Launch – Mandalay

Today’s woody was designed by Brin Wilson and built in 1958 by Dave Jackson, so that makes her a special woody. Carvel planked and measuring 35’9” with a 11’1″ beam and drawing 2’11”.
She is powered by a Moon Engines – reconditioned (2000) Ford 120hp diesel, that sips 7L an hour at a cruise speed of 7>8 knots.
Anyone able to put a name to the boat. I understand her owner has had her for approx. 30 years. Its Mandalay (thanks Geoff Bagnall)

Hudspith – Bay of Islands Game Boats

Marie J

Marie J – 1956 – 30′ Master-Craft

Venture

Venture – 1964 – 36′ – M.G. Palmer

HUDSPITH – BAY of ISLANDS GAME BOATS
David Clarke sent in the above photos of the Bay of Islands launches – Marie J (top) and Venture (bottom) that were both owned and operated by the Hudspith family (father Don, and sons Cyril and Norm) of Kaikohe.
Marie J was owned in the early 1960’s and moored in the Waitangi river on the piles. She was used mainly for game fishing in the BOI and Whangaroa areas with many days trolling over the Taheke reef for marlin. In the photo is David’s father, Colin Clarke, a regular crew member sitting on the cabin top left, beside him is Cyril Hudspith and in the cockpit is Tammy Weir another regular crew member.
The Marie J was sold in the mid 1960’s and in and around October 1966, the Hudspith’s family’s new launch Venture was purchased and brought up to the BOI.
She then spent the next 30 years or so mainly game fishing and Norm Hudspith was a prominent member of the BOI Swordfish Club and indeed the IGFA.
The photo of Venture shows her with a new clear flying bridge (added c.1968) and about to be launched at the BOI Yacht Club slip way in Waitangi after her annual haul out.
The Hudspith’s also installed a Perkins wing motor for trolling around 1968.
David commented that it was great to see that both vessels are still in very good condition, a credit to the owners.
Read and see more on Marie J 
Read And see more on Venture 
 

Kestrel

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KESTREL

The 39’ launch Kestrel was built in Nelson in 1957 by Wally Steer. Original kauri carvel construction but later (1990’s) she received a skin of ply and was fibre-glassed 1990s 😦 Powered by a Ford 120hp diesel, that gets her along at 8 knots.

Mid last year she was 4sale on tme, in Nelson. Do we know anymore about Kestrel and her builder?

Input from Steve Thomas – Kestrel was originally named SUSAN MARGARET, built by Wally Steer around 1957 and first launched from Monaco, Nelson, not far from Wally’s home at Songer Street, Stoke, where the boat was built. I have a photos of her moored in Nelson Harbour, will dig it out and send a copy. She was powered by 2 flat-head V8 petrols we think. The March Construction family in Kaiapoi owned the boat for many years. In the 1980’s the March boys Father died and they trucked the boat from Picton and started a major rebuild at their Kaiapoi base. Myself and my Dad, Don Thomas, found her around 1995 and fell in love. The original 1’1/4 kauri carvel planking was skinned over with diagonal ply and glassed and the new topsides built but not fitted out. The March boys ran out steam on the home straight and let us take over. We then trucked the boat up to Glenhope, near Murchison, where a boat builder friend, Kevin Strong, completed the interior fit-out over a couple of years. We then moved the boat to Nelson, and finished the exterior repaint, electrical and engineering work. The Ford 2725E was a brand new engine. We relaunched the boat in Nelson around 2000 and she looked the same as she is now. Sadly, my father Don passed away in 2013. Nelson boaties Mike and Denise Ballard then purchased her around that time and lived on her for a few years. Kestrel has just been sold to an American couple who intend to keep her in Picton and cruise the Sounds. She’s a fantastic sea boat with heaps of flare in the bow. Will be a great ship for many years to come.

Storm Bird

Stormbird

STORM BIRD
The photo above of Storm Bird was sent in by George Janis, his father and a retired Scottish boatbuilder named Jock McCallum in 1950 built this 20’ launch. Storm Bird had a raised foredeck and a dodger. The family owned her for 24 years, and she was powered by a Morris Vedette 6/12 marine petrol engine, with a 2 to1 reduction.
George would like to uncover info on what became of the vessel and whether she is still in the Wellington area.
Do You Need A Bow Thruster?

If you have been considering installing a bow thruster or if you occasionally have a berthing oops – read the article below that Chris McMullen sent me – it originally appeared in the May 1944 edition of – Yachting World & Power Craft. It’s been in Chris’s files for years and he uncovered it during lock-down. Chris commented that he felt he should share it. Have a read it explains boat handling in plain English + the analogy of thinking the propeller is a wheel is good. If its too hard to read, drop me an email and I’ll send you it in a larger format.    waitematawoodys@gmail.com

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Woodys On Tour – Halls Boat Yard, New York

Woodys On Tour – Halls Boat Yard, New York

A few years ago, woodys Jim and Karin Lott were ‘parked up’ with the masts on deck in their kauri ketch – Victoria, on the Hudson River. More specifically in the middle of New York State in a city called Albany. The Lott’s waited there for three weeks for the Erie Canal to open. Jim commented that Albany definitely does not feature on anyone’s ‘place to go’ list. They were not alone as Wellington old salt Richard Watt and his wife Enid anchored alongside them in their launch (photo below of both boats), as well as dozens of other impatient US and Canadian sailors.

To while away the time they hired a car and headed to Lake George to look at woodies at Halls Boatyard, one of the many inland homes of wooden boats in New York. Jim commented  that floating boat garages are common in North America and they spent several hours admiring a sea of varnished ash, cedar, spruce and mahogany. There was a slipway and boatyard all under cover inside the shed complex. The yard specialises in rebuilding and restoring classic motor-launches but a few yachts were getting the same TLC.

After the long wait, the canal stayed closed so they had to forgo the Great Lakes and continued up the Hudson. Eventually they locked into Lake Champlain and down the Richelieu River to the St Lawrence near Montreal in Canada.

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Classic Launches at Opo Bay – Mayor Island

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Rarangi

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Marline

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Classic Launches at Opo Bay – Mayor Island
The above photos are dated 1959 and feature several launches in Opo Bay at Mayor Island, Bay of Plenty.
The top photo shows the launch Rarangi with its bow nudged up on the beach. Can we confirm the launch is Rarangi and do we know anymore about her?
Also like to ID the launch in the middle photo and the boat on the right in the bottom photo.
photos ex Lew Redwood fb
Update. – Brian Worthington has confirmed the launch in the top photo is Rarangi and she was built by Lane Motor Boat Co. When photographed she was a charter boat owned and skippered by Bob Gray.

Brian and Ken Ricketts agree that the middle photo is Marline, and Brian comments she was built by and owned by Leon Warne. When photographed she was a charter boat owned and skippered by Peter Brasting.
Ken is of the belief that the bottom photo is the launch – Wakatere.

Yesterday’s Project

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My ‘barn-find’ clinker dinghy has been in storage for over a year, prior to this it had been in a garage for over 25 years. It was a lake boat so I suspect its never seen saltwater.
When I collected her, she had 25 years of dust on her, you could have grown potatoes in her 🙂
Given that I’m on top of my to-do list on the home front, I got the green light to do some boating stuff, so out came the sugar soap, sponge & a tooth brush.
She measures 7’6” x 4’ and is built from kauri ply, so very light. She is a tad more elegant than ‘Peg’ (photo below) the current #1 in the dinghy fleet.
The big question is the degree of prep prior new paint / varnish – back to bare wood or ??
Top photos – post cleaning, below – as found.
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A Real Feel Good Moment – Look at the look in the wee ones eyes, please can I stay here 🙂 Sent in by Colin Pawson.

Kitty Vane – Where Are You

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KITTY VANE – Where Are You

There has been chat recently as to the status of the launch Kitty Vane – so todays story is a shout out for an update on the project.
Firstly a summary of what we know ( thank you Harold Kidd, Brian Worthington & Val Monk ) – Kitty Vane was  launched in 1956, designed and built by T.C. (Ces) Watson, Laurie Going (father of Hugh Going) worked on her as well. She is named after Katherine (Kitty) Airini Vane, a famous artist from Northland.
She was based at Whangarei Deep Sea Anglers Club at Tutukaka for many years and was still under charter there in 1991. She went to the aid of the crew of Stella wrecked on Wide Berth Island in 1963.
Later ownership moved to John Going who changed the cabin style, he continued to operate her out of Tutukaka. John also ventured down the west coast game fishing and also sailed Kitty Vane up to Tonga game fishing. 
In the top two b/w photos dated 1961 we see Hugh and Rona Going fishing off Tutukaka, a fine looking woody.

Back in January 2015 I spotted Kitty Vane hauled out at Te Atatu Boating Club, Auckland, colour photos above, where she was getting some TCL. According to her transom home is / was Tutukaka.

Boat yard chat is that in 2019 she ‘returned’ to Northland.
Do not know if it was on a truck or under her own steam. Anyone able to enlighten us on her?
13-06-2020 Update – LINE DRAWINGS – Peter Watson, sent in the below original drawing of Kitty-Vane done by his father – T.C. (Yes) Watson
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The Slippery Slope
From the ceiling signs at the 1968 Boat and Caravan Show, held at the Epsom Showgrounds – the writing was on the wall (poor pun) for the demise of the wooden boat building industry. Great to see Clipper / Mason Marine tucked away in top left corner 🙂
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Woody Photo Gallery

Duke of Marlborough

Antares 3

Arima

Moana

Shalom

Woody Photo Gallery
The selection of woody photos above was sent in by Bryce Strong, details and links to previous WW stories below. I hate Digital dates on photos but it is a very simple way to record when the photo was taken – two are dated 2013, interesting to see how the vessels have faired in the last 13 years.
The top photo of the steamboat – Duke of Marlborough, is a newbie to me. I’m looking forward to Russell Ward chipping in with her history 😉
Antares – built in the 1950’s by Supreme Craft. At the time the above photo was taken she was owned by Bryce’s brother-in-law, Ron Phillips
Arima – built in1953 by Colin Wild

https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/12/08/arima/

Moana – built in c.1939 by Sam Ford
Shalom – built in 1973 by TK Atkinson
Anyone Recall Sutton MalcolSham & Co
I have been contacted by Richard Winthrop looking for information on a boat builder named Sutton Malcolm & Co. Ltd of Mt Roskill, Auckland. Many years ago Richard had a Mason Clipper that had the sticker below on it.
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Mananui

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MANANUI

The above boat popped recently on Lew Redwood’s fb, the caption had a possible date of 1956>61 and an unconfirmed location of Northland. The photo was credited to a Frank Lomas, if that helps.
I know it’s a big ask – but can anyone ID the boat / location ?
Input from Dean Wright – Dean sent in the photo below of Mana Nui, taken in the Bay of Islands on 27 Jan, 2017. This backed up by Brian Worthington’s advice that the mystery boat is Mana Nui. Kerry Alexander has also suggested she was owned by Capt. Fred Young and the location is Rawene. 
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OOPS its not the boat that Dean sent in. Photo below ex Paul Drake and shows Mananui at Tauranga (Sulphur Point Marina).

She is already featured on woodys – see WW Link. A rather smart woody https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/0
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Manunui
Update 15-04-2020 Photos below ex Aubrey Bracey via Frank Lomas and show ManaNui at Hokianga c.1956-61
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Manunui

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MANUNUI

Todays’ story on Manunui comes to us from the ‘desk’ of Paul Drake – as always, well written so I’ll pass over to Paul.

 “Arriving at Taupo for our annual holiday one January in the late 1950’s, my brothers and I were intrigued to see a very unusual looking new commercial boat on the scene.   Before we knew her name, we kids called her ‘The Ugly Boat’.  She turned out to have a proper name – MANUNUI – after the saw milling town just out of Taumarunui.   It was there that she was built by the manager of said sawmill, Basil Maude.

Basil’s hobby was building boats, but he rarely got more than about three-quarters of the way through before losing interest.  MANUNUI was the exception.  He wished to see how big a boat he could build out of plywood.  He had the plywood made at his mill from selected timber.   Her bottom had two sheets of ply each twenty feet long , six feet wide, and one and a quarter inches thick. She measured 36 feet by 12 feet.

She had to be chunky and strong because Basil had two Allison Kittyhawk 12-cylinder aeroplane engines which he wanted to fit.   He designed and built the double gearbox himself.  It measured eight feet by three feet by two feet deep.   At the last minute the plan changed and the two gallons per minute Allisons were wisely ditched in favour of Ford V8s. But the gear box remained – larger than the two engines.   This most fascinating gearbox was mounted forward of the engines with the propeller shafts running back under the engines.   Chains were involved, and each propeller was operated independently of the other in the normal way.  MANUNUI was the first diesel powered launch on the lake (so it is said) and also the first commercial plywood boat to operate on the lake.

In the good old days when fishermen would club together and charter a launch for five day expeditions to Taupo’s Western Bay, MANUNUI was a very successful and busy charter launch under her very capable skipper Ron Houghton.

The original canvas arrangement over the aft end was eventually replaced with the rather functional effort shown in the second photo. In about 1970 a whole new cabin appeared.   Shortly afterwards MANUNUI was sold to New Plymouth.   I wonder if she survives?   Somehow I doubt it.

Much of this information is contained in ’Boats of Taupo’ by Charles Cox.

 

Alana – Where Is She

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ALANA – Where Is She
 
Recently I was contacted by Al Laslett regarding the launch – Alana, that his grandfather, Alan Laslett, owned in the 1950’s. Subsequent correspondence with Al’s mother, Anne Palmer (nee Laslett), has uncovered the above photos and intel on the vessel below.
 
Alana  was built in the 1950’s in the backyard at, Anne believes 54 Tarawera Tce., St Heliers or on a property nearby. Anne it not sure of the exact date she was launched, but believes it was before mid 1958. Anne believes that Alana was kauri planked and her mother once told her it was approx. 36’ > 40’ in length.
 
Anne’s father, Alan, was quarry manager for McCallum Bros. on Pakihi Island from approx. 1958 until his sudden death in May 1960 (heart attack). He had separated from his wife, and was waiting for the divorce to come through when he died.  Because he was still legally married, the launch passed to his wife Elsie and the family do not know what happened to her after that – presumably sold. The family has tried several times to find where she is now, but to no avail.  The only reference they know is a single mention in a Radio Hauraki news bulletin in the 1980’s about a cabin fire on a launch called Alana on the Waitemata Harbour.
The unusual cabin design was because Anne’s father was a very tall man and specifically built a cabin where he could not hit his head. She was rigged for deep sea fishing, but Alan never got the chance to do that. Alan died just before his 50th birthday, at the time Anne was only 19 months old and her sister was 6 weeks old. Sadly Anne has no memories of my father or the launch, only the old photos above.    
In the photo at the wharf at Pakihi Island, Alan is the tall, balding man at the back, is full name was Alan Edgar Laslett. He used to drive taxis in Auckland just before he and Anne’s mother went to Pakihi Island. 
 
So woodys – big call out today – Anne and her son Al, would love to find the Alana and if possible see her in person – I’ll give a WW t-shirt to the woody that provides the best intel.
30-03-2020 Update / Input from Anne Palmer

Anne was sent the photo below from her cousin David who lives in Australia. David commented that the boat was nearing completion in the backyard of Alan & Elsie’s property at Tarawera Terrace, St. Heliers, taken in December 1955.
David H and Alan's boat St Heliers Dec 1955
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Bay Of Islands 1950’s Gallery

1957 BOI - a

(Launches – L>R) Lady Eileen, Crusader, Makura (ID ex K Rickets)

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1957 BOI - c

Bay Of Islands 1950’s Gallery

Thanks to a prolific burst of Bay of Islands photos recently on Len Redwoods fb page we get to have a glimpse of boating in the BOI’s back in 1950’s.
Most are taken in or near the waterfront township of Russell.
Make sure you check out Mondays WW story – a wonder full gallery of photos and a special request for help to find a woody.
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Erinor – A Peek Down Below

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ERINOR –  A Peek Down Below

Back in August 2014 Erinor made a brief appearance on WW, link below, lots of chat in the comments section.
What I can tell you is she was built by McGeady in 1953 for Gordon Collie and measures 33’6” x 10’8” x 3’6”. Powered by a Ford 120hp diesel.
In a previous life she was named – Lady Allyson.
Thanks to tme we get to have a peek down below.
Note To Self – Don’t Raft Alongside Trinidad – tends to lead to ‘short pants’ syndrome 🙂
RD+Trinny+Ngaio
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2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos

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2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos

As I have mentioned in the last two WW stories, the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand have over the last 3 days been running its annual classic yachting event on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.
The near perfect conditions on all three days made for happy skippers and a relieved race organisers. I was on the water for two of the three days and had a blast. The gallery above is a mix of Races 1/2/3. If your boat doesn’t make an appearance, I apologize, I was only a passenger, so captured those that were within range.
On the second day, James Dreyer and myself hosted the world acclaimed marine photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz onboard Jame’s motorboat – Laughing Lady, the perfect platform for recording the on the water activities.
For me it was a master class in boat positioning and photography angles, I tried to keep out of Ben’s way and took the above photos / videos when I could without being in Ben’s line of sight.
These days the CYA run the regatta using the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron as Race HQ and entertainment hub, it is the perfect venue and as always the service and staff were 10/10.
 Scroll down for the official regatta results below
As always – click on photos to enlarge.
Race Course Videos Below (Races 2/3)
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PRIZE

A DIVISION

ARIKI

RAWHITI

CORONA

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Lady Ellison

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Lady Ellison

The photos above of the 36’ c.1952/53 possibly Sam Ford built – Lady Ellison were sent in by John Burland and show her at Nelson Marina.

The lady has made two appearances (July 2015 and May 2019) on WW, links below, from the photos above its obvious that she is now a well used, semi commercial vessel. Read the links and comments sections –  lots of chat on her past.

Two photos below – b/w = as launched. Colour = 2015 (click to enlarge)

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Mystery Launch At Waiheke Island

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Mystery Launch At Waiheke Island

Mooching around Sandy Bay I spotted the above woody – it looks familiar. Not anchored, on a mooring so maybe she is an Island boat.
I’m sure someone smarter than me can ID her.
Woodys Classics Waiheke BBQ & Pizza Lunch – Trip Report
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Another great turn out for Saturdays gathering at Little Oneroa – I counted 16 woodys in the bay, rowing past a couple I may have detected a whiff of PVC but they were lookers and all had a healthy mix of timber and bronze. Attending boats tagged in the story.
Most people decided to order lunch from the wood-fired pizza caravan and were not disappointed – very yum.
The timing seemed to work for everyone – several boat travelled long distances to participate and 1/2 the fleet were just there for the day. Also dog friendly venues are appreciated – again 1/2 the boats had pooches aboard. Perfect weather and very low numbers of what the islanders call ‘day trippers’.
As proof that all you need to be welcomed at a Woody Classics event, is a passion for wooden boats – my boat of the day was Allan and Pam Hooper’s – Katherine. Her dinghy (built by Allan) gets her a 10/10 tick in my book.   You can read more about Katherine here https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/02/03/katherine/
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Katherine

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Little Oneroa – Waiheke Island

I spotted Allan’s dinghy ashore on Sunday morning  at Oneroa – now Allan is a perfectionist, so his score drops to 9.9/10 – he left the stickers on the oars 🙂
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